Thailand records more than 900 cases for 3 consecutive days

Bangkok, Thailand (AP) —Thailand recorded more than 900 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday for three consecutive days. This is because thousands of people flocked to the beach on the first day of a long national holiday, despite warnings from health officials.

Disease Control Director Dr. Opas Karnkavinpong warned that a possible blockade would take place next week when people return to the city after a traditional New Year’s festival known as Songkran. He said the government would implement telecommuting orders for all public services after vacation.

The government reported 965 new cases on Tuesday, resulting in 34,575 infections and 97 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic. More than 6,000 of these cases have been recorded since April 1, when a new surge occurred in nightclubs and bars in central Bangkok.

“I’m still worried about the situation. Further measures are planned,” he said.

He ruled out a general blockade, but said the Ministry of Health was considering targets in high-risk areas. The government has already ordered the closure of all bars and entertainment venues in Bangkok and 40 other states, but has not banned travel between 77 states in Thailand.

However, many governors have taken their own steps to regulate access to 37 states. This includes a two-week forced quarantine of visitors in some locations.

Millions of Thais are traveling all over the country for the Songkran Festival. Often from urban areas to rural villages. Thousands of people gathered on Tuesday at the beach in eastern Chonburi to enjoy the first official day of the holiday.

According to health experts, the third major outbreak that hit the country was mostly the first variant of the virus found in the UK, affecting young people because it occurred in nightclubs and bars. Was given, which made it more difficult to control.

The surge also caused a shortage of beds, as Thailand has mandatory hospitalization rules for all positive cases. Opas said it addressed the issue of 30,000 beds currently available in hospitals and field facilities.

Thailand has so far managed its pandemic well by closing the country for almost every international trip for over a year. He hoped to begin bringing back tourists in July by gradually opening the country to vaccinated travelers.

Thailand’s unique vaccination drive got off to a slow start, with 505,215 first shots and 73,317 per second.

So far, Thailand has been using relatively small doses of Sinobac and AstraZeneca vaccines until local factories were able to begin production and distribution of AstraZeneca vaccine in the middle of the year. Still, Thailand has ordered enough doses for about half of the 60 million people living here, and there is no clear schedule for the general public yet.